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Top 10 Outdoor Games for Dogs

Written by: Miranda Jones

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Time to read 6 min

+ How Healthy Pet Treats and Organic Antler Chews Fit In

There’s nothing like enjoying some fresh air when it’s nice outside – especially with furry friends in tow! So let’s strive to keep our dogs and ourselves active this summer! Not only does this improve both your health and that of your fur baby, but it also fosters the connection between you – even more so when you include healthy dog treats and antler dog chews as nutritious rewards in the process. In addition to providing your dog with exercise and mental stimulation, playing together is a beautiful way to strengthen the human-canine bond. Here are some fun activities and outdoor games for dogs that will allow you to spend quality time together in the beautiful summer weather.

Five Easy Outdoor Games for Dogs

Let’s start out easy! Virtually anyone can master at least one of these outdoor games for dogs.

HEALTHY DOG TREAT TREASURE HUNT


Keep your pup's senses sharp with a treasure hunt just for them. Start by hiding plenty of Chicken Chip and Turkey Chip healthy pet treats throughout your backyard, keeping them all within your dog’s reach but varying the space between them and placing them at different heights. If your dog is new to this game, hide treats in places that are relatively easy to find – trust us, he will catch on quickly! 

 

Once you're ready to begin, show your beginner dog to the first treat and continue to encourage finding the others – once she knows this game, you will be able to skip this step! Add a simple "find the treat" command and praise her with each find to keep your pup’s tail wagging. And this is more than just snack time! It is also a great way to introduce or hone your dog’s skills in the sport of scent work, which involves locating hidden target odors.

Dog patiently waiting for Chicken Chips in the sunshine!

WATER GAMES

 

Many dogs – and humans! – enjoy water games in the backyard. After all, when the weather gets hot, our furry pups just want to keep cool! A great way to do this is to set up a sturdy child’s pool in the yard and fill it with water for him to splash about in. A sprinkler or hose makes another great water game. Simply turn it on and watch your dog run back and forth with happiness as she cools down. Similarly, if your dog loves retrieving balls, try filling a bucket with water and adding a few balls that he can take out of the bucket and play with. Safety first! Remember to always supervise your dog around bodies of water.

 

BUBBLE CHASE

 

Chasing and popping bubbles is a great enrichment activity for dogs – so much so that there are many dog-safe bubbles available on the market for pets to play with. Some are even flavored and scented bubbles in varieties like bacon or peanut butter! You can also try making your own dog-safe recipe like these from Mybrownnewfies.com. Make it even easier with an automatic bubble machine! If you have kids in your life, this is a great supervised game for them to play with your dog. After all, kids love blowing bubbles as much as dogs love chasing them. Just remember to use all non-toxic, dog-safe options and ingredients and not to overdo. All bubbles contain soap, so too much can irritate a pup’s tummy or eyes. 

PICNIC IN THE PARK

 

Pups love the park, and what better time to enjoy it than summertime! Just bring a blanket big enough for both of you – or the whole family if that’s the case – and basket or cooler with your lunch and plenty of healthy treats or chews for your dog. Start with a long walk and perhaps some other active outdoor games for dogs like those below to help your pooch be calm and ready to relax by picnic time. He can also chomp on a few Americana Chicken Chips or Split Elk Antler Chew while you eat so he feels even more included!

Patriotic pup with Farm to Pet Americana Chicken Chips healthy dog treats

PATIO PARTY

 

Okay, maybe this isn’t a “game,” but sitting on the patio with our fur baby certainly is easy and rewarding! Research shows that spending leisure time, whether indoors or out, with our dogs increases the bond between us. After being active or at the end of a long day, relax on the deck or patio as you both enjoy your favorite cool refreshments. Make it even more enriching by incorporating chew time – every time your pup gnaws on a Farm to Pet organic antler chew for dogs , he is getting mental and physical stimulation and a plethora of healthy nutrients, as well as the pure enjoyment of being with you! 

Five More Advanced Outdoor Games for Dogs

These outdoor games for dogs require a little more effort, patience and training, but they are just as fun, healthy and rewarding!

SIMON SAYS

 

Summertime is a great time for an outdoor training session, or to test your dog’s understanding of basic commands such as sit, stay, down, roll over, jump, heel, come, etc. Keep it interesting by mixing up the order, and of course reward her with plenty of praise and her favorite Farm to Pet healthy pet treats for every one she gets right!

FRISBEE CATCH

 

Playing frisbee is a great fitness game to keep doggos in shape, helping train your dog’s agility as well as concentration in the process. For the novice pup, introduce him to the game by tossing the frisbee gently just a short distance or rolling it on the ground toward your dog. Once he starts getting the idea of picking it up and bringing it back to you, throw it a little higher and further each time. Of course, rewarding catching and returning the frisbee with a treat will help! We even have the perfect frisbee for you to use as well. 

Golden Retriever gets Farm to Pet treats after some frisbee catch.

BASKETBALL GAME

 

Teaching your dog to play pup basketball can be great fun for both of you, and easier to teach than you might think! Start with an empty laundry basket or bin and your dog’s favorite ball. While your dog watches, bring the ball to the basket and drop it in while saying “drop.” Do this several times, ensuring your dog is paying attention. Then, give the dog the ball, and move behind the basket with a dog training treat at the ready. Once he is in the right position, say “drop.” Reward him with praise and treats every time he drops the ball into the basket. As he gets more familiar with the goal – namely, ball in basket! – you can even progress to tossing him the ball over the basket for him to nose in, just like Air Bud! He shoots, he scores! 

BACKYARD AGILITY

 

A backyard agility course is a great outdoor game for dogs that provides both mental and physical exercise. Set up the course and walk your dog through, perhaps having her jump through a hula hoop, hop over one or two rolled-up blankets, or weave through some mini cones or upside-down plastic bowls. While it does require some effort and trial and error, building a backyard agility course doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You can use everyday objects found around your home, such as old blankets, pillows, towels, large open-ended boxes, stools, a pole on two boxes, etc. Be creative, and let your imagination run wild – then teach your pup to run the course using healthy dog treats as incentive. American Ninja Pups, anyone?

Dog relaxing on the grass after playing

TRAINING TUG OF WAR

 

Tug of war is a great game to give your dog exercise, calm his temper, and teach him some basic impulse control commands, namely “stay”, “get it” and “let go”. Before starting the game, you should be prepared with plenty of dog training treats and establish the basic rule: no mouthing allowed! Once your dog’s teeth touch your skin, stop the game immediately. Your dog then will learn not to mouth you if he doesn’t want the fun game to stop. 

 

As your dog learns and adheres to this basic rule, you can proceed to teach her the “stay”, get it”, and “let go” commands. Put the rope toy on the ground and tell your dog to stay. Reward your dog for staying. Once this is understood, pick up the toy and tell her to “get it”. This gives the green light for her to grab the toy and initiate the game. 

 

In the middle of the game, tell him to let go. “Let go” is the trickiest command since your dog will likely be excited and not want the game to end! But be diligent, since this is a very helpful command to have in your repertoire for many instances. Once your dog releases the toy, reward him with his favorite treat. Once your dog understands all of the three commands, you can put them all together in one fell swoop and have tug of war fun outdoors anytime weather permits!

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There you have it – our picks for the top ten outdoor games for dogs. Yes, some are easier than others. But they are all great fun and incredible bonding opportunities for you and your fur baby, as well as healthy ways to enjoy time in the sunshine together!

Dog with bandana relaxing on the porch

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